|Our rental house...no chimney for Santa!|
Today is Christmas Eve. It is the big celebration of Christmas on the Eve, and not on the Day as is traditional in the US. While I'll never get used to a tropical Christmas where I have to wash the sand off my feet, I do enjoy the beautiful simplicity of the holiday here. In fact, at the beach, it is a day much like any other, spent with family--and a whole lot of cooking later in the day.
Presents are opened on the Eve. If there are kids around who still believe in Papai Noel (Daddy Christmas), a relative might race through the house in a Santa suit. Two years ago this was Great Aunt Mara with a beard (after all the lights had been doused by an accomplice). She almost got caught. It gets pretty tough to keep this mystery going--much easier in the US when you can just wait until the kiddies go to sleep.
The meal is sometimes suckling pig (more common New Year's Eve), turkey, and lots of fixings. And we even forgot a Christmas tree this year so we'll have to hang some ribbons off the sideboard. I think we have a small felt hanging tree somewhere. Much like my feelings about importing Halloween here (I am opposed), I am somewhat happy we don't try to copy a northern Christmas. We can't, so why bother. While I miss it, the northern Christmas doesn't allow me to still my toes in the surf and toast Iemanjá (the sea goddess) with my glass of wine. Cheers!
And merry Christmas!